What Are the Signs of a Cricket Infestation?
Greenhouse camel crickets, also known as spider crickets or cave crickets, regularly infest homes in the eastern United States, with heavy concentrations appearing in the Southeast. These insects especially love moist, dark basements and crawlspaces.
Signs of an infestation are regular appearances of these crickets, often by the dozens, in a dark, moist area of the house. They may also make their way into your regular living areas on occasion. With large numbers appearing, you’re likely to discover frass (dried excrement that looks like coffee grounds) settling on flat surfaces in these areas.
Other crickets may also infest a home and exhibit similar activity and leave behind frass, but camel crickets are the most likely mass invader. In fact, cave crickets earn their name for their original habitats – deep caverns of Asia where little light is available.
In the west, swarms of Mormon crickets are common, although they rarely invade a home. Instead, these insects, which are actually a species of katydid, are more likely to cause traffic accidents when thousands of them get mashed on the roadway and cause slick spots for drivers.
How Can I Control a Cricket Infestation?
Battling an individual cricket in your home can be difficult since these insects often go silent when they feel threatened. Even locating a cricket by sound can be difficult since the direction of chirping is often difficult to determine. Your best bets are to:
- Seal - Determine the room where the cricket is located and block it from traveling to other rooms. Since many crickets species can fly, your best bet is to shut the door and seal off any cracks.
- Starve - Eliminate food and water sources that crickets may find, and you should eventually starve the insect.
- Clean - Keep the room clean. Your goal is to remove any debris where crickets could hide. The more hiding spaces you eliminate, the closer you’ll get to finding the crickets.
- Remember - Crickets are small enough to hide behind baseboards and other areas that are inaccessible to people. If you still can’t find it, a general insecticide spray may kill it.
Large infestations, such as those by camel crickets, can be controlled in much the same way – block them from expanding their territory, remove food options and hiding places, and then spray as necessary.
How Can I Get Rid of Crickets?
Crickets in your home, basement or workplace can be eliminated in a number of ways. Your first step should be to block entry points for crickets. It’s also helpful to eliminate any material where they can lay eggs – usually moist soil or similar material.
Finally, you can apply any variety of TERRO® products including:
How Can I Stop Crickets from Entering My House?
Crickets of any species can be driven from your yard and away from your house by following a few simple steps.
- Seal Cracks - Walk around the outside of your home and look for any cracks or gaps in your home. Using 100% non-organic caulk, seal up the cracks you find. Remember that cockroaches can squeeze through incredibly tiny spaces, so seal everything. As a bonus, caulking these spaces will also help with your heating bills.
- Seal Utility Access Holes - Most of our utility services – electricity, water, telephone, cable, gas – send some sort of line, wire or pipe into your home. To provide this access, a hole is created to run the utility. On initial installation, those holes were probably sealed with caulk or some other material. Unfortunately, these seals may deteriorate over time, so check them and reseal as needed.
- Inspect Incoming Food, Furniture and Packages - Whether you just made a trip to the grocery store, got a package from a family member or picked up a piece of used furniture, check all of these items for roaches (and other insects) prior to bringing them into your home.
- Eliminate Shelter - Keep the area close to your home free of roaches by denying them shelter. Store firewood away from the home. Don’t allow leaves to accumulate near an outside wall. Push mulch away from the house.
- Keep Trash Away - Store trash a considerable distance from your home, and make sure it is sealed in plastic. Always put the lid on and throw out the trash can if it develops any holes.
- Permieter Control - Create a protective ring around your home with TERRO® Ant Killer Plus, which is also effective at keeping cockroaches from entering your home. Using the shaker bag, spread these granules around your home and then water the area. When cockroaches come in contact with TERRO® Ant Killer Plus, they die.
Are There Different Kinds of Crickets?
- Field Crickets - A common set of cricket species found in North America, usually black in color.
- Greenhouse Camel Crickets (also called cave crickets or spider crickets) - These insects aren’t North American natives, but are steadily increasing their presence in the eastern U.S. where they are often found in basements.
- House Crickets - Originally native to Asia, house crickets are the cricket most often used for pet food because their exoskeletons are softer.
- Jerusalem Crickets - A flightless insect, Jerusalem crickets are not true crickets, despite their appearance. These insects are native to the western U.S. and have a powerful bite.
- Mole Crickets - These lawn pests have large, shovel-like forelimbs they use to burrow into soil.
- Mormon Crickets - Actually katydids, Mormon crickets are common in western North America and known for their swarming behavior.